The ICC WTC Final between India and New Zealand will be the first of its kind in the game of cricket. This is an effort to complement the effort of a team becoming the best after playing against other teams at home and away and in different conditions. The tagline of this final goes as ” The Ultimate test” which itself is a measure of how big the occasion is.
Various Test teams have dominated the format in the past, but none were honored with as big a prize as one of these teams will be. Either India or New Zealand will win the title of World Test Championship winner in a few day’s time.
India vs New Zealand WTC Final: Match Preview
The WTC final is in many ways a rematch of the ICC World Cup semifinal between India and New Zealand. The Kiwis beat India 2-0 in a Test series which got the campaign started for the Indians. It was the only series loss that the Men in Blue had to cope up within their road to the final. They had to win against the Aussies and against England to get to the final which they ultimately did.
After the loss against the Kiwis, India beat teams like Bangladesh and South Africa and England at home and Windies and Australia overseas to book a berth in the WTC final. Along the journey, the Men in Blue tasted highs and lows which will go down into the history books. India started their Test series against Australia by being bowled out for just 36 in the second innings at Adelaide.
india They then won in Melbourne, drew in Sydney, and won the final Test at The Gabba. In the process, they registered back-to-back series wins on Australian soil.
At home, in the next series against England, they started on a losing note. They lost the first Test in Chennai and won the next three to get to the final. The Test series against Australia and England helped India discover many unsung heroes and unnatural talents. Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, and Rishabh Pant are India’s biggest gains throughout this campaign.
Full Squad: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane (VC), Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Siraj, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha (WK), Umesh Yadav
The Kiwis headed into the championship fresh from their ICC World Cup final defeat against England. They played Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka to get their campaign started. They drew the series 1-1 and lost their next against Australia 0-3 against their trans-Tasman rivals.
Their revival began when they returned home and played India, West Indies, and Pakistan at home. They beat India 2-0 in a test series to come back to winning ways. They won the Test series 2-0 each and became the first team to qualify for the finals. It became all the easier with Australia denying to tour South Africa over COVID concerns, which guaranteed them a spot in the finals.
The Kiwis in the absence of skipper Kane Williamson beat hosts England in the second Test to win the Test series 1-0 just before the WTC final. In the process, they have better acquainted themselves with the playing conditions and holds the edge over India in the final.
Full Squad: Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Will Young